"If all the world hated me/Wouldn't you be the one to love me/Wouldn't you kiss me 'til I drowned." The chorus for "If All the World Hated Me" from Flight 16's self-titled debut sums up the British band's mission. A more direct lyric might have gone: If we pretend to be moody and damaged artist types, wouldn't you buy our record? Perhaps the post-adolescent members of Flight 16 aren't feigning depression, but the timing is conspicuous. With similar trend-spotting pouters like Collective Soul, Matchbox Twenty, Our Lady Peace, and the Verve Pipe successfully pawning their sensitivity to a rabid audience first unearthed by Seattle's early-'90s melancholy set, Flight 16 saw little risk in their cry-all-the-way-to-the-bank strategy. Despite their derivative foundations, most of the groups listed above share some positive characteristics, like good songwriting and a compelling lead vocalist. Flight 16 was blessed with neither of these qualities. At his best, singer/guitarist Dave Sears sounds like a young, off-key Ozzy Osbourne (see "This Love"). The rest of the time, Flight 16 applies a layered, droning treatment to their pedantic melodies. This technique seems to require more skill than Sears possesses. On "Sleep," the verbatim rip-off of Alice in Chains' "Down in a Hole," Sears and his band reach their moaning nadir. Ill-conceived and poorly executed, this one and only Flight 16 CD was dated the week of its release. Only the most passive and forgiving alt-rock fans -- listeners for whom Creed is just to darn heavy -- should bother with Flight 16.
AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson